The annual first Saturday in May came around over the weekend and with it was the Kentucky Derby. The Derby itself got started out to a rainy, muddy race day but riders prevailed. The first race in the run for the Triple Crown is always highly anticipated and competitive but this year saw something that has never happened in race history. The winner of the most famous horse race in the world was disqualified after a 22 minute debate by stewards.
What happened exactly was after the race two jockeys appealed to the stewards claiming that Maximum Security had veered from his path cutting off War of Will, which in turn had a chain affect that bumped numerous other horses and even the winner Country House. What is so serious about this small cutoff is that it could have ended in disaster. During review judges and the whole world was able to see clearly that Maximum Security’s rear leg went squarely between that of War of Will. What raises concern is the effect this could have had. If War of Will was not able to maneuver from the leg and had fallen, all the horses behind him could have suffered as well including some jockeys.
While many can agree with the call, Maximum Security owner Gary West is a strong disbeliever. He has already stated that the horse won’t run in the Preakness because there’s now no chance at the Triple Crown. He plans to make an appeal on how the stewards went about making the decision. West questions why the stewards didn’t file an immediate objection and had to wait for the jockeys to raise the issue to them. He knows that the horse moved out, but says that this sort of thing happens in a race with a large fields and that Churchill Downs is just “a greedy organization” for allowing such an large number of racers.
Personally, it would still make sense to have Maximum Security race again because with all surrounding publicity the horse could bring in alot of money for racing and owner Gary West. If Maximum Security were too win the next two races in the Triple Crown that would put a ton of pressure on the Derby as we’d see the first horse to win all three races but not get the Triple Crown. Not to mention the amount of money that coverage, ticket sales and betting would obviously bring in. Just a thought for Mr. West.